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IN THE MOMENT
In the moment…
I’m going to open myself up to you while I dissect these ideas in my mind. This might sound like I’m talking in circles, or it might end up inspirational.
For most of my life, if not all of it, I have given myself a lot of guilt over my inability to remain steadfast at something. I started softball as a kid, quit. Tried cheerleading for a year, quit. I even ran cross country for a year and discovered it was a sport that I was half-decent at. You guessed it, I quit.
Maybe sports analogies are a bad example. I suck at sports. lol
The point is I like to try new things. I like to discover ideas and understand them fully. I go all in when I like something…, but then when it’s run its course I also go right back out and slam the book shut just as quickly as I opened it.
You see- I’m the type of person who gets bored easily. It’s not shiny object syndrome where I’m in the middle of something I’m enjoying when I see something better and run to it. No. Rather, it’s that I enjoy learning new things and once I feel like I’ve mastered a skill, or I’ve quenched my thirst for research on a topic then I get bored, pack it up, and put it on a shelf. Nine times out of ten I never revisit the idea again.
Be A Quitter.
In my younger years I denied that truth about myself. I was ashamed to be “the quitter.” I fantasized about meal plans and schedules and routines. I tried so damned hard to force myself into the mold that society idealizes, but I just kept popping right back out. Damn it. Try again.
When I would finish with an idea or activity after weeks of being fully consumed by it I would find myself sitting an idea on the figurative (or sometimes even literal) shelf. This inner dialogue would take place where a small voice would whisper so faintly I could barely hear her, “Do you really think you’ll use that again? Do you need to keep that stuff?” Then my much louder “thinking voice” would reply, “Hush you. We can’t process this information right now. If we get rid of this stuff then we’re a quitter all over again. Another thing we’re a quitter at. Don’t you get that???” There the stuff would sit collecting dust (all this before I became a Minimalist, y’all). And now I understand why.
I have experienced a great deal of shame over my inability to commit to something and stick with it. In a nutshell it ties back to perfectionism, and a society that values the personality trait of sticking with something. I want to get everything right the first time and if I start something and realize it’s boring, or not a good fit, or served its purpose then I put it in a neat little box so that I can forget about it without having to actually deal with it.
Does that sound familiar?
That’s what I love about being almost thirty. You get to know yourself by now.
The other thing that that I love about being almost thirty is that I’m learning which things in this life are society’s truth and which things are MY truth. As it turns out, I value the ability to know when it’s time to stop. That’s important to me. Why hold onto something past its usefulness whether it is a pair of shoes, a ratty old T-shirt with holes, or simply an idea?
To clarify, I don’t quit when it gets hard. I actually love a challenge, and I’m very stubborn. I had two natural childbirths without pain medicine, y’all. I quit things when I get tired of them, or when I’ve outgrown them. Never when they get tough.
As a young child I didn’t come up with the idea that quitting is bad all on my own. I was conditioned to believe that. “Don’t be a quitter!” There’s nothing inherently wrong with teaching that concept. I understand the purpose. If we’re raising our young people to go into the mainstream work force of this world then they will need to be able to endure a lot without quitting. Not being a quitter has its purpose.
I had a mental breakthrough today while listening to one of The Minimalists’ podcasts about obligation. I highly recommend you look it up. They were speaking on the topic of knowing when you need to quit something, and how that continuing to do something that’s no longer adding value to your life is hurtful not only to you, but to everyone around you instead of helpful. You aren’t giving your all to what you’re doing if your heart isn’t in it. You have to be fully present. If you’re not then are you really fully committed to it, or are you simply going through the motions out of obligation?
If what you’re carrying is heavy, sit something down.
I now look at those people with different eyes who started playing softball at age 5 and stuck with it until college. The ones who had a visible knack for keeping on keeping on doing whatever it was that they were doing. I used to have a hallowed reverence for their commitment. These individuals were the ideal. I wanted to be like them. Didn’t I need to be like them to fit into society like a normal person? Again, it goes back to my perfectionism. In reality they drew out a straw that was a good fit for them straight away and just kept doing it. Maybe they loved it. Maybe they just didn’t know how to quit it. Who knows?
What I do know is that obligation makes me sick. I’m a borderline type A personality, but the moment I create a schedule, or dinner menu, or weekly ritual of some kind that stays the same I can’t follow through, and I run in the opposite direction. All that work for naught. I’ve learned that I can’t deal with things not going as planned so it’s better for me personally to not make a plan in the first place. I’ll usually create a broad mental outline and run with that, or just go with the flow.
Clever Title Goes Here
That’s kind of what I’ve been struggling with here on my website. I spent the first year of blogging learning exactly how to blog. I had NO IDEA what I was doing, y’all. None. But I knew I wanted to do it right. (Have I mentioned that I’m a perfectionist?)
The blog gurus told me that the best practice was to do this certain thing this way, and this certain thing another way. I did it their way, and it felt right. I saw results. The thing was though- with each little necessary obligation they added to my plate as something I had to do to run a successful online business it stole a little piece of the joy I get out of this. Knowing I had to do certain things and that they had to be done “just right” made doing this blog a little bit too hard. This year I’m going to blog for fun. I’m going to blog because I have something to say not because I want to see how many page views I can gain, or try to crack the code to going viral. I do appreciate you sharing my work if it resonates with you, but I’m not going to write things with social media algorithms or best practice marketing strategies in mind because I know if I keep doing things that way I’ll quit.
You probably won’t find me on Facebook more than a few times a week to check notifications and post to friends because Facebook is a huge time stealer for me. You may not reach me quickly via email because I find it a little bit monotonous so I procrastinate checking it. I do check it, and I reply to EVERY email from my readers. I’m just asking you to be a little patient with me this year. 😉 You definitely won’t see my on Instagram because I have despised Instagram from day one of this blog. Being on IG feels like walking through knee deep mud in rubber boots to me. It’s so much work and I hate it. If you love it, DO IT. I don’t.
I’m a quitter, and I’m okay with that.
Who are you?
Comment below and tell me.